A6/Matlock - Hazel Grove
|To:||Hazel Grove (SJ925865)|
|Meets:||A615, B5057, B6012, A619, B5055, A6020, B6049, A5270, B5059, A53, A623, B5470, A624, A5004, B6062, A6015, A523|
Stockport Council • Derbyshire Council
Cheshire • Derbyshire
|Route outline (key)|
From Matlock the A6 runs beside the old St Pancras to Manchester Central railway line. At Rowsley the B6012 (ex-A623) leaves for Chatsworth, and a mile further on, near Haddon Hall, the B5056 used to be the A524. (The now-defunct A622 left the A619 three quarters of a mile to the east; it's now the B6001.) From Bakewell the A6 climbs Ashwood Dale, to bypass Taddington by way of a rather unexpected 1930s dual carriageway. This section is icy and snowy in winter, and quite often blocked. Dropping down to Buxton the road is very bendy; one passes beneath four rather fine iron railway bridges whilst following the infant River Wye. On entering Buxton the A6 swings away to the right, for the town centre and Stockport (nowadays usurping the former A624). The green distance sign in your mirror gives Leicester as being 66 miles away, the greatest mileage given for any destination on an A6 distance sign.
North from Buxton, in the heart of the Peak District, the A6 heads northeast towards Chapel-en-le-Frith and Whaley Bridge, via Dove Holes, a fairly tight and busy stretch of road. The original alignment of the A6 was via the now-A5004, a more direct route to Whaley Bridge, but a high level route with some very sharp bends and probably was not suited to being a major trunk route.
The Chapel/Whaley Bridge section was bypassed in the 80s, with a good dual carriageway twisting up the valley. It would be single carriageway if built today. The section between Whaley Bridge and Stockport is slow and very busy, and lacking in bypasses- a proposed bypass of New Mills/Disley/High Lane etc was scrapped in the 90s; the more high profile Hazel Grove/Stockport bypass (variously the M66, the A6(M) and perhaps now, just an A-class relief road for Hazel Grove) may or may not ever happen.